Tony Stewart Foundation, Pam Boas/Joni Thompson
Michelle Hoskin, December 11th, 2014
A good friend of mine, Angie Witherby, contacted me recently with a dilemma she was having with a Horse that her family rescued named Taffy. Taffy was basically used as a ‘tool’ for the perfume industry and had numerous health issues, including a break in her leg that was never attended to and had worsened over time, creating issues with her supporting leg as well. Angie, a huge animal lover with a big heart, was having trouble finding assistance in getting someone to help her find a way to help with Taffy’s medical problems. The first thought that came to my mind was the Tony Stewart Foundation (TSF) that is based out of Indianapolis Indiana.
The Tony Stewart Foundation was created “in 2003 because of the huge heart Tony has for children and animals” stated Pam Boas, Treasurer of the Board of Directors (and also Tony’s Mom). He would call his Indianapolis office and tell his mom, Pam, to send money to a humane society that needed funding to help a sick or injured animal. Mom decided “it was time to go through the proper channels to provide the funding – thus the Tony Stewart Foundation was created!” The TSF monetarily “supports organizations that serve children with life threatening, chronic illnesses, organizations that serve abused, abandoned, endangered animals & organizations that serve race drivers injured in sanctioned racing activities.”
The TSF supports numerous organizations throughout the United States such as Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, ICAN Service Dogs (IN), Shining Stars (CO), Riley Foundation (IN), Children’s hospitals from California to Florida, humane societies all across the U.S., etc.
Tony Stewart with the Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN)
A few questions that were posed to Pam and the staff at the TSF:
Animals and children in need encompass such a large base. How do you choose who to help? “The TSF has a program in place in which organizations apply for monetary grants. The applications are very detailed and specific information is required to be considered for a grant. TSF looks for organizations that use the majority of their funds for their programs – not administration and what sets them apart from other similar organizations.”
How is the Toy Drive coming along that I have seen promoted on Twitter and Facebook this year? When is the cut-off deadline? ”The Toy Drive is going well this year and will end on December 12th.”
Pictures speak a million words. Which picture on your website do you believe spoke the loudest? “All pictures of children and animals who have been funded by TSF but the most touching are pictures of Tony with children and animals!”
What is Lap Leaders? “Someone who donates every month is a Lap Leader.” Lap Leader Members will receive 4 ‘thank you’ gifts throughout a 12 month calendar year for contributing to Tony’s Foundation. An exclusive Lap Leader Club mouse pad with your welcome letter then 4 additional items; one of the additional items is personally autographed by Tony! Minimum monthly donation of $14.
Ways to donate? “Through the TSF website www.tonystewartfoundation.org, USPS, through your company gift matching funds program, through Wills, etc.”
I work in Healthcare/Hospice myself and on a daily basis deal with sad situation. How do you handle the sad situations that you probably see on a daily basis? “We see many, many difficult situations where children and animals struggle through health and mental challenges. Knowing that we can help organizations that are experts in providing assistance to positively change their lives encourages us to work harder to gain funding to assist other organizations who do the same thing and more. Faith plays a huge role…”
How much of a role does your family partake in the running of the Foundation? “Board of Directors consists of Tony and his immediate family only.”
Is there any specific foundation that touches your heart personally? “There are so many that touch our hearts such as Discovery Arts (CA), ICAN (IN), Shining Stars (CO), Humane Society of Hamilton Co. (IN). We love supporting camps for children with health adversity as well!”
Though saving Taffy is a work in progress, Angie will be contacting a couple of different organizations that will hopefully be able to lead her in the right direction to save Taffy’s life. One organization that Pam recommended was Friends of Ferdinand Inc., a non-profit organization that is based out of Indiana that specializes in equine welfare.
Tony Stewart Foundation:
Pamela A. Boas
Tony Stewart Foundation
5644 W. 74th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46278
Phone: (317) 299-6066
Fax: (317) 299-6715
Direct: (317) 536-9850
To help support Taffy: